Eczema, dermatitis & psoriasis… just mentioning these three is enough to start itching and scratching. But, help is at hand! All of these skin conditions have underlying causes in our immune system and overall health. Of course, there are many topical and medical interventions which may temporarily ease symptoms, but getting to the root of the issues is the only way to find lasting relief. Let us talk about ways of tackling environmental issues which most commonly trigger skin reactions and also the health improvements which can help to tackle the underlying causes.
But before we jump into the ways of relieving the symptoms of these skin dieeases, let’s see what it is that we are dealing with.
What are the symptoms?
Eczema is not as much a single disease as it is a group of causes with several grouped symptoms. Dr. Axe’s website cites that the number Americans suffering from eczema as 30 million. The symptoms may vary in their presentation and severity from mild to severe. However, the most common symptoms include:
- Dry skin that cracks
- Patches of skin in red and reddish color on the hands, wrists, ankles, feet, neck, upper chest and any skinfold
- Raw and sensitive skin
- Recurring rash
- Small crusty bumps
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. The symptoms look similar to eczema, but the underlying condition is different. The skin usually takes a month to make a new layer of cells and shed the old ones. Psoriasis speeds up that process big time. The building of a layer of skin cells takes only a couple of days due to psoriasis, but since the old skin cells are not dead yet, the shedding that occurs includes live skin.
The symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Dry skin that cracks
- White/gray scales and plaques on red skin patches
- Skin soreness around the patches
- Inflamed patches of skin which are red and raised
- Pain in joints
Dermatitis comes in various shapes and sizes of irritated skin but the most common symptoms are:
- Scaly and dry skin
- Skin redness
- Burning sensation of the skin
- Skin swelling
- Cracking skin
- Open sores with crust
As you can see, there are many symptoms which appear similar but do have different causes.
One thing all these conditions have in common is the place where symptoms appear. It is the skin. And since our skin is there to keep us safe from detrimental environmental conditions, every skin problem gets affected by that environment.
Actually, easing symptoms of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis can be seen as twofold. One is protecting the skin from the environment, and the other is actively easing those symptoms with various treatments.
An environmental approach to easing symptoms of Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis
Probably the easiest way of protecting the skin from the environment is to keep it clean. But one thing we must be aware of is the fact that not every way of cleaning is good for us. Remember, these conditions actually damage the skin locally, so using chemicals that are too aggressive, can increase that damage and even create more problems.
Therefore, be sure to use natural soaps, and mild detergents to keep the skin clean and moisturized. Dust, pollen and sweat can provoke additional itching and increase the sensitivity of already sensitive parts of the skin. Sunlight can dramatically improve the condition but it can also be the trigger for an increased and worsening of symptoms. If the latter is the case, choose a high factor sunblock but with as few additives and fragrances as possible. There is no point in being protected from the sun at the price of worsening symptoms.
Besides keeping our bodies clean from the environment we can keep our environment clean, as well. BUT again, if we must use chemicals, look only for mild chemicals, or even plain water to keep it clean. Many strong detergents, soaps, glass cleaners, fabric softeners, etc. can provoke skin problems. There are many natural cleaning mixtures which are very effective, like vinegar, lemons and baking soda. But, as hands are areas sensitive to dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema, wear gloves while cleaning.
Keep dust at bay by dusting often and using a HEPA vacuum cleaner, which minimizes the particles that are released into the air during cleaning (which end up coating everything again!). Using dust protective sheets and covers can also increase cleanliness and reduce symptoms.
One of the major causes of psoriasis is stress. Stress has a huge impact on our immune system and health. There are numerous examples of people developing skin issues after periods of intense stress. Stress management techniques like physical activity, yoga and spending time in nature can be very helpful in stress reduction, health improvement and easing the symptoms of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Active measures for easing symptoms
Once we manage to keep our skin and our environment clean, we need to keep skin moisturized. Applications of natural oils, and creams not only give the right amount of moisture to skin but also create a protective layer against the mentioned environmental triggers. When looking for immediate ease of itching… a cool wet compresses is a good way to ease it. An application of baking soda also works fast, and Reader’s Digest suggests mixing 1 ½ cups of baking soda with 3 gallons of water and applying it with a cloth on itching skin.
Be sure to avoid products with too many artificial fragrances and dyes, as these can do just the opposite of easing the symptoms of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Natural creams which are very good are coconut oil, olive oil, creams made with bee’s wax, herbal juices, Aloe Vera gel and tea tree oil.
Regarding nutrition, in addition to a wholefoods diet, Omega-3 and probiotics which act as anti-inflammatory ingredients, are useful to add to your diet.
Causes and symptoms
We have the means of treating the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis, but in order to get rid of them, we need to improve our health and immune system. We have learned in past articles how the causes of these diseases are related to immune dysfunction (causes of psoriasis, causes of eczema, causes of dermatitis). Our thymus gland plays a huge role in our immune system function, but with age, its function decreases. By adding BioPro-Plus to our diet we stimulate the normal function of our immune system. It is like fine tuning our health.
The best way of treating any issue in life is by removing the cause instead of focusing on the symptoms. But while causes are often referred to as “underlying” and we may not be aware of them, symptoms are there for a reason… for us to feel and see them… symptoms hint at the problem. We must begin work on restoring the health of our immune systems through the use of supplements like BioPro-Plus.